I’m certainly glad that people are starting to think and talk about what life will be like after we get past this COVID-19 crisis…on TV news, around the globe, and certainly in the youth sports community. And now that we can see blue sky in the distance, I firmly believe this crisis will give way to earth shattering improvements in youth sports at home, at the fields and in the governing bodies.
Here are a few of the changes I’d like to see:
—After weeks of our kids not being able to participate in games and tournaments, I hope to see more sideline parents just sitting back, chilling out and enjoying the game.
—I’d like to see kids stick with their home training routine and not rely on their coaches and trainers to motivate them.
—I’d like see parents continue to be active and play ball with their kids rather than returning to their passive role as chauffeur and scheduler.
—I’d like to see kids and parents continue to find creative ways to stay fit to complement their kids’ sport-specific training.
—I’d like to reduce the amount of travel involved in our kids’ sports… it becomes a huge investment of time and money, and is an added risk in the post COVID-19 world. There’s plenty of local competition.
—I’d like to see more recreation sports programs flourishing instead of rushing to get our kids on travel teams at such a young age. Norway is the model for successful sports programs and they don’t allow tryouts for travel teams until age 12.
—This COVID crisis has helped us reconnect with dinner time, family time, study time, time for personal hobbies. I hope the new youth sports landscape pays greater respect to the personal/family lives of sports families.
If these ideas resonate with you, please read these articles by two respected thought-leaders (and friends) John O’Sullivan and Nate Baldwin, who have articulated how we can make this a reality. It’s in your hands now friends!
Nate Baldwin, Former Parks and Recreation Department for Appleton, WI: NOW IS THE TIME TO REBUILD YOUTH SPORTS
John O’Sullivan, Changing the Game Project: REIMAGINING YOUTH SPORTS IN A POST COVID-19 WORLD